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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1989;68(7):609-11.

Short umbilical cord as a cause of fetal distress.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Akershus Central Hospital, Norway.


The purpose of this study was to examine if a short umbilical cord might give rise to fetal distress of such a severity that would necessitate operative delivery. Review of the literature gave little clarification. Out of a database consisting of 7212 births, 5885 were included in the study according to pre-set criteria. The incidence of operative delivery was then compared with cord length. A significantly higher incidence of forceps deliveries and vacuum extractions was found when cord length was less than 40 cm. The incidence of cesarean section was also higher for the shorter cords. There was no increased need for neonatal resuscitation for the babies with the shortest cords.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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